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Deltacron: the story of the variant that wasn’t


21 Jan 2022

News of a ‘super variant’ combining Delta and Omicron spread rapidly last week, but researchers say it never existed and the sequences may have resulted from contamination. On 7 January, virologist Leondios Kostrikis announced on local television that his research group at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia had identified several SARS-CoV-2 genomes that featured elements of both the Delta and Omicron variants.


How One Change to The Coronavirus Spike Influences Infectivity


18 Jan 2022

Since joining NIH, I’ve held a number of different leadership positions. But there is one position that thankfully has remained constant for me: lab chief. I run my own research laboratory at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). My lab studies a biochemical process called O-glycosylation. It’s fundamental to life and fascinating to study. Our cells are often adorned with a variety of carbohydrate sugars. O-glycosylation refers to the biochemical process through which these sugar molecules, either found at the cell surface or secreted, get added to proteins. The presence or absence of these sugars on certain proteins plays fundamental roles in normal tissue development and first-line human immunity. It also is associated with various diseases, including cancer.


Shipments of free coronavirus tests will take at least a week, U.S. officials say


14 Jan 2022

Americans will be able to order free rapid coronavirus tests online at COVIDTests.gov beginning on Wednesday, but the tests will take time to arrive: they will typically ship within 7 to 12 days after being ordered, senior Biden administration officials said on Friday.


Starting later this week, some at-risk Americans become eligible for a 4th shot.


13 Jan 2022

Some people with a weakened immune system can get a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine as early as this coming week, according to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that were updated last week. The C.D.C. endorsed a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for moderately or severely immunocompromised people on Aug. 13, but said this would be considered a part of the primary immunization, not a booster shot.


Is It Flu, COVID-19, Allergies, or a Cold?


12 Jan 2022

Feeling sick can be especially concerning these days. Could your sniffles be caused by COVID-19? Or the flu? A cold? Or maybe allergies? Determining the cause of an illness can be tricky because many share some symptoms. They can leave you sniffling, coughing, and feeling tired. But there are important differences.




Articles


Return to Play After COVID-19 Infection in Children


28 Jun 2021

As the pandemic continues, children may experience long-term effects from COVID-19 infections. Because children may become “long haulers” or develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), close monitoring after a COVID-19 diagnosis is important. In addition, children who are athletes require a separate return-to-play evaluation before they return to competitive sports or physical activities.




Association of Mask Mandates and COVID-19 Case Rates, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in Kansas


23 Jun 2021

This study examined the association between mask mandates in Kansas counties and COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The Kansas executive order that took effect on July 3 was adopted by only 15 counties, and 68 counties did not have a mandate through October. A second mask mandate order took effect on November 25, and 40 additional counties adopted it.




COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Personnel as a Condition of Employment A Logical Addition to Institutional Safety Programs


08 Jun 2021

The consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have been far-reaching, particularly among health care personnel (HCP) and within health care settings. HCP have been directly affected, sustaining occupationally acquired COVID-19 infections, and indirectly through a substantial alteration in health care delivery. With the advent of highly effective and safe SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, case rates and hospitalization rates are declining, and the promise of a return to some semblance of pre–COVID-19 health care is growing. Recently, several medical centers have announced a requirement for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination of all HCP (allowing for medical and religious exemptions), and the impending licensure of the mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines (following the previous Emergency Use Authorization [EUA]) will move many other centers to consider a similar policy. A recent outbreak in a skilled nursing facility attributed to an unvaccinated HCP member clearly illustrates the risk unvaccinated HCP can pose to their patients and other HCP.1




We are scheduling training with them this week on how to generate the report.


07 Jun 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance that fully vaccinated individuals can safely remove masks and end social distancing in most indoor settings.1 Educational facilities and businesses are faced with whether and how to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, including requiring proof of vaccination. Mandatory vaccination has historically served as a tool to reach and sustain high immunization coverage and to prevent transmission in K-12 schools, colleges/universities, and health care facilities. Vaccine mandates could extend to workers and customers in businesses to ensure safer environments. This Viewpoint examines the epidemiologic, public health, and legal considerations for mandatory SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in each setting.




Mix-and-match COVID vaccines trigger potent immune response


19 May 2021

Preliminary results from a trial of more than 600 people are the first to show the benefits of combining different vaccines.




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